Pact Represents Little More Than Turkish Ploy for EU Acceptance

Turkey and Armenia’s superficial peace pact, in the end, amounts to little more than a strategic Turkish move for admission into the European Union.

Turkey has been clamoring to join the EU since 1987, though its patchy human rights record — including heavy censorship, sketchy relations with Cyprus and poor treatment of Armenia — have significantly delayed its acceptance.

Although the treaty is a nominal declaration that does not guarantee progress between Armenia and Turkey, signing it could easily bring the latter that much closer to overcoming EU objections. No matter how much support may be lacking within the Armenian and Turkish populations, on an international level, this is a definitive step toward Turkey’s ability to redress its image as an aggressor, and may indeed bring it one step closer to that golden EU membership it so desperately craves.

Armenia’s potential gains aren’t so concrete. A treaty may have its economic benefits in time, but for the most part, it’s Turkey — who has been arguing its status as a developed country and EU asset for over 20 years — that stands to gain more from the pact. If this accord proves fruitful and leads to Turkish-Armenian alliance (which will almost certainly first require a recognition of the Armenian genocide), the subsequent stabilization of the region will only strengthen Turkey’s long-denied bid for admission.

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